Hey there Family!
We had a very eventful week this week. Starting with a Zone Conference in Angers this past tuesday. We had some great training lessons, activities and farewell testimonies for the missionaries going home. It was so good spending time with the other missionaries in the zone and even meeting one of the Soeurs whose blog I read up on before the mission (weird?! haha).
Friday was a HUGE fete (party) here in the Paris mission as well as in the Lyon mission. We had a combined day of Finding in the two missions. From 9am to 9pm, all the missionaries put their schedules on hold and went out contacting, porting and talking to people all day. The goal was to find 1000 new investigators in the combined missions of Paris and Lyon. It was such a neat day. And I've never walked so much or worked so hard in my life!
As a part of the day, we offered prayers every half hour throughout the day. So, if you include blessing meals, morning and evening prayers, Soeur Bradley and I collectively offered over 30 prayers in that one, single day! Miracles are real. We met some really wonderful people and heard their stories of faith and of trails...but no new investigators yet.
We knew that we'd been giving it our all and trying harder than we ever had, but we just hadn't been reaching our goals and finding anyone that was real interested. At church on Sunday, we shared one of our miracle stories in 'missionary minute' during Relief Society meeting. Soeur Bradley explained how it'd been a long week full of a lot of persecution leading up to this miracle. And to be honest, I had to agree that it had been a challenge for us.
We had had a teenage girl tell us that we'd 'convinced' ourselves of God's reality and based her reasoning off of 'physcology'-- that it was all in our heads. Another woman had told us that she just couldn't believe in God because then He must've created all things evil. So much doubt, so much confusion and so many opinions. God is not the author of confusion.
All of these people's accusations were based on skepticism and doubt, instead of sure knowledge. I don't know a whole lot, but I know that Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. If we will exercise faith on Him and His teachings, we can find out for ourselves whether or not they are true. We can obtain a sure foundation of knowledge rooted in truth. That's something earthquake proof.
Elder Holland said so perfectly said in a recent conference address:" Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!"
He then says, "Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."
And so we kept on loving these people. And I counted our exchanges as a blessing for me, personally. Everday, I see God's hand and tender mercies in our work. He seeks to fan the flame of faith in the lives of those we encounter as well as in His missionaries. I honestly believe that's why we are given opportunities to defend and acknowledge our faith before many. And we defend it not with harsh, combatitive words, but with Power, Boldness and LOVE.
There are times, here and there, where I feel like a little girl with a small voice and a very minimal language capacity trying to share my faith, knowledge, and joy. But with God, I am Mighty.
"Though She Be But Little, She is Fierce."--Bill Shakespeare
Hope on. Love on. And have a wonderful week, Family!
Bronte at N'importe quoi.
In Bronte's words, "Sorry, at some point, Sister Missionaries get over looking attractive...".
Now they are all super cute!
After a Zone Conference in Angers, their train got delayed for over 3 hours.
Bronte was told by Perle and Solange Kehli (two sisters) that a bow in french is called "une barette" and then they proceeded to draw her a mural of barettes and other artistic works to get the message across. So cute!
Bronte's words, "Some of the funniest construction markings I've ever seen. Yes, there's a hole in the ground, y'all? No need to circle it and put a question mark beneath...".
Pictures of Bronte tracting!
And finally Bronte at IKEA! She was is excited and happy!
Such a great email this week!
"And this is what became of Elder Smith's pants. He left them in Tours to see if Soeur Bradley could repair them. But, let's face it, they were pretty unrepairable. So Elder Crammer thought he'd have a little bit of fun. He didn't actually throw them into traffic, but I don't know if Elder Smith would know otherwise...?"
Lots of love,